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10 Reasons to Mediate Your Divorce

Choosing mediation instead of litigation for divorce offers several advantages, especially for families who want to preserve a co-parenting relationship.
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Divorce litigation can be expensive and time-consuming, and often isn’t the best solution to accomplish your goals, particularly if you have children. Litigation naturally pits the parties against one another, with a win-lose mentality. Lawyers try to get the “most” or the “best” deal possible for their clients; it is naturally adversarial and isn’t the best place for creative or flexible solutions that many families need today.

Going through a divorce is always a painful, difficult, and emotionally charged process, but it doesn’t have to be acrimonious. Choosing mediation instead of litigation for divorce and family law matters offers several advantages, especially for families who may have to preserve a co-parenting relationship.

Some of the benefits of divorce mediation include:

1. Control and Autonomy

In litigation, the outcome is determined by a judge who is assigned by the court system to hear your case. While your lawyer can make arguments in court on your behalf, ultimately, the final decision is up to the judge.

In contrast, mediation gives you much more control over the outcome of the matter. Both you and your spouse will choose and agree upon the mediator who will work on your case. You will be active participants in the mediation process, working with the mediator to create a solution that works specifically for your family and your individual circumstances.

2. Confidentiality

Mediation is a private and confidential process. The discussions, negotiations, and documents shared during mediation are not disclosed to the public, and mediation sessions are closed to all but the parties and their representatives. This confidentiality promotes open communication and encourages parties to freely express their thoughts and feelings without fear of judgment or repercussions.

3. Preservation of Relationships

Divorce and family law matters can be emotionally charged and often strain relationships, not just between the spouses, but among other family members as well. Mediation focuses on finding collaborative solutions, reducing conflict, and fostering better communication between the parties.

By working together to find common ground, mediation can help preserve or repair relationships, which is particularly important when children are involved, and when the parents must communicate and cooperate in various matters involving the children long after the divorce has been finalized. You will work with your mediator to develop a parenting plan that promotes the well-being of your child. Mediation encourages parents to work together, fostering cooperation and collaboration in co-parenting efforts.

Mediation often equips parties with improved communication and conflict resolution skills, which can be valuable for future interactions, especially when co-parenting or maintaining ongoing family relationships. The cooperative problem-solving techniques learned during mediation can help parties resolve future disputes more effectively and avoid returning to court.

4. Customized Solutions

Mediation allows for creative and flexible solutions tailored to your specific circumstances. The mediator helps facilitate discussions on issues including child custody, visitation schedules, property division, and financial matters. Unlike court-imposed decisions, mediation allows for solutions that address the unique needs and interests of all parties involved.

In litigation, a judge is less likely to work on finding a creative solution tailored to your family’s individual needs, and more likely to impose a ‘standard’ solution. A mediator can work with you and take the time to understand your individual circumstances and the needs of each individual involved.

5. Supportive Environment

A skilled mediator can provide a supportive and neutral environment, helping you navigate the emotional challenges that arise during the process and to communicate your needs more effectively. Mediation can also incorporate other professionals, such as therapists or child specialists, to address specific emotional or psychological needs.

Mediation promotes a cooperative and problem-solving approach rather than an adversarial one. The emphasis is on finding win-win solutions rather than “winning” or “losing” in court. This collaborative environment often leads to better long-term outcomes and a higher level of satisfaction for all parties involved.

6. Reduced Stress

Traditional litigation, as an adversarial process, is inherently stressful. Mediation is a less stressful alternative. The informal setting and collaborative nature of mediation help create a more relaxed atmosphere, reducing tension and anxiety. It allows parties to work together toward a resolution rather than engaging in contentious courtroom battles.

Round conference table and chairs at Mediation Solutions

7. Efficient Communication

Mediation facilitates direct communication between parties. It provides an opportunity for both sides to express their perspectives, concerns, and needs directly to each other in a controlled and respectful environment. This direct dialogue can foster understanding, empathy, and improved communication between parties.

8. Preservation of Assets

Financial issues are a part of any divorce. Mediation can be advantageous in cases involving complex financial issues. It allows parties to work together to identify and evaluate assets, debts, and financial information in a transparent manner. Through constructive dialogue, parties can reach agreements that minimize financial costs and ensure a fair division of assets. In addition, the cost of paying a divorce mediator is significantly less than the costs involved in litigation with both spouses paying for their individual lawyers in a long court process.

9. Speedy Resolution

Like all forms of mediation, divorce mediation generally offers a quicker resolution compared to court proceedings. By avoiding lengthy litigation processes, mediation allows parties to move forward with their lives and reduce the emotional and financial toll of prolonged legal battles.

10. Flexible Scheduling

Once your case goes to court, you are at the mercy of the court’s schedule, subject to the availability of the judge, the lawyers, and any other cases on the judge’s docket. Mediation offers much more flexibility in scheduling. Mediation sessions are scheduled at a time that is mutually convenient for all parties involved, making it easier to accommodate work, personal commitments, and other obligations.

Mediation may not be appropriate for all divorce and family matters, and the benefits of mediation may vary depending on the specific circumstances of your case. Consulting with a qualified mediator can provide further insight into the advantages relevant to your situation.